UK government launches £8.5m competition to inspire green skills training

The government is launching an £8.5 million competition which will see providers bid for funding to train up 8,000 retrofitters.

Training providers are now able to bid for a share of the funding, which can be used to train up both current installers and those new to the industry.

The courses will be free or provided at low cost, covering a range of measures like putting in loft insulation to draft proofing – with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of homes, but also helping households with the cost of living crisis.

Trainers will be able to apply for the funding from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero until 25 August, with places expected to open up later this year.

The move comes amid concern about a green skills gap being levelled at the government and by industry leaders, the shortage has driven job sites such as Reed to launch a dedicated environment platform to help with training.

The schemes are part of a £6.6 billion investment into reducing fossil fuel usage by improving energy efficiency in buildings, and sits alongside the existing Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and Home Insulation Scheme.

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“We’ve already helped millions of people to do this, but we need an army of skilled professionals able to install insulation and other energy-saving measures in homes across the country,” said energy efficiency and green finance minister Lord Callanan.

“Today’s funding will give training providers the opportunity to put on the courses needed to help create the skilled workforce ready to join this rapidly-growing market, with people able to benefit from these courses at low or no cost.”

The Retrofit Academy CEO David Pierpoint added: “The Home Decarbonisation Skills Competition is an essential vehicle for increasing capacity while maintaining high standards and we welcome the government’s £8.5 million funding allocation.

“It is essential we use this funding to unlock more talent, upskill workforces and drive the infrastructure required to decarbonise the UK housing stock and we intend to continue our partnerships with the government and industry to build on the 5,000 learners we have already enrolled onto our range of retrofit training courses”.

EnergyNature and the environmentNews

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